Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state says the events of the past five months have given him an added perspective on matters of justice and injustice in Nigeria.
Uzor Kalu said this in a statement he issued on Friday in Abuja following the Supreme Court nullification of the lower court’s judgment that convicted and sentenced him to 12 years’ imprisonment.
“Challenging as this period has been, it has provided me an opportunity to learn invaluable lessons about our country, our peoples, our justice system and the true meaning of love.
“I mean love for family, love for our country and love for humanity’’.
“I have come to know that the course of justice will not be complete if it stopped at my case.
“It must continue until it touches the lives of millions of Nigerians who face injustice anywhere in this world.
“I shall be dedicating my time henceforth to ensuring that there is justice for all Nigerians, whether they are in Sokoto, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Maiduguri, Jos or Enugu – wherever they may be’’.
Uzor Kalu added that justice for one man or for a few people will no longer be enough in this country.
“A system whereby over 70 per cent of all prison inmates is made up of people awaiting trial, cannot be allowed to continue.
“A situation where innocent people are falsely charged with murder just to get them out of the way does not dignify our country and cannot continue.
“Justice must now mean justice for all. That is my pledge to Nigerians.”
The former governor also said that the judgment affirmed his right to fair hearing and equal protection of the law which reaffirmed his belief and confidence in Nigeria.
“My case is a true Nigerian story with a bold `MADE-IN-NIGERIA’ stamp on it, it is a story of initial injustice that was caught and ultimately corrected, and restoration.
“It is a story of how a wrong was righted and how justice and truth prevailed in the end. A story of the power of hope,’’ he added.
He said his case should teach everyone that even though they may not get things right at the first attempt, with patience and dedication, they would get them right eventually.
“That is the lesson of my case and that is the lesson for our country – that with dedication and patience, we shall place Nigeria in its rightful place eventually’’.
He accorded a special mention to the Justices of the Supreme Court for their unwavering commitment to rule of law.
“We all stand reminded of the consistent and strategic relevance of the Nigerian Supreme Court in holding this country together, even in moments of great peril.
“As far back as in the 1971 case of LAKANMI V. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION, the Ademola Adetokunbo – led Supreme Court had rescued this country from the edge of the precipice.
“Also throughout the dark era of military rule in Nigeria, the Supreme Court neither wavered nor flinched in its commitment to justice and fairness.
“And despite some moments of distraction and mass hysteria, the Nigerian Supreme Court has remained the veritable compass to the highest ideals of justice attainable in this country.
“This long tradition of the court was exemplified in today’s judgment. I was humbled by the court’s boldness and sense of justice as shown in my case.”
He thanked his family, colleagues, friends, the people of Abia State, and all Nigerians for their unflinching and unwavering confidence and trust in him through the very testing period.
“We all know today that their prayers have not been in vain.
“I also wish to express my gratitude to the Nigerian Correctional Service for the professionalism and sincere humaneness extended to me by its staff while I was in their custody.”
The Senator said he looks forward to rejoining his colleagues in the Senate as soon as possible.